Bonskeid House

Bonskeid House through the trees
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Bonskeid House through the trees

A tall B-listed Scots Baronial mansion located amidst 15 ha (37 acres) of woodland and parkland in Strath Tummel, Perth and Kinross, Bonskeid House lies at the eastern end of Loch Tummel, 1½ miles (2.5 km) southwest of Killiecrankie and 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Pitlochry. The land here was the property of the Stewarts from the 15th C. It passed to George F. Barbour through marriage and he commissioned Perth-based architect Andrew Heiton (1823-94) to build the present house in 1881 as an aggrandisement of an earlier house dating from c.1805. The house is constructed of granite and comprises four floors, pepperpot turrets, crow-stepped gables, corbelled-out battlements and Jacobean-style bay windows, together with a round tower surmounted by a square caphouse with a pyramidal roof. The older house remains as a long two-storey wing extending to the east. Further work was undertaken in 1909.

The Barbour family let Bonskeid House to the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in 1921. The YMCA bought the house in 1951 and ran it as a youth hostel until 2001, when it was sold to once again become a family home. Extensive refurbishment has taken place and a modern sun-room replaced an incongruous dining hall extension built in the 1960s to serve the needs of the hostel. Inside there are now five reception rooms, including a panelled dining room, and nine bedrooms.

The grounds feature several large specimen trees, including Copper Beech, Douglas Fir, Giant Sequoia, Grand Fir, Oak and Scots Pine, together with a larch which is thought to be one of the oldest in Scotland. Bonskeid Estate is now separated from the house but remains in the ownership of the Barbour family.

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